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eating on the road while traveling to exhibitions, conferences,

updated tue 13 jan 04


Paul Lewing on sun 11 jan 04


Years ago I read a really great book called "Way Out West" by Dayton Duncan.
He was following the route of Lewis and Clark, and he came up with Road
Rules on how to pick a good restaurant in a town you've never been to,
especially a small one. He also would never eat in a chain if he could
avoid it. Some of them that I recall were:

Truckers only want a big enough parking lot to turn around in. Go where the
cops eat. They've been everywhere many times.
Pick the one with the most calendars on the wall.
If a place has a person's first name on it, go there.
Next best is a place with two initials. It's the initials of the couple who
own it.

I've followed these and he's right.
Paul Lewing, Seattle

Keisha on sun 11 jan 04



pardon the non capitalized letters you all but i
injuried my right hand so typin with one.

variety is good. i think the small, family owned
eating places are nice. they're usually owned by
families or friends. bathrroms r clean(at least the
ones i have been too). i like to eat my surroundings
so even though i eat at sonics sometimts (not much
really) i love hunting and finding the small quiet
eating places. there is a place i know of called the
pickled okra. it's only in mississippi. the food is
good there. all the furniture is for sale. it's costly
but where else can you get youe mail served with a
pickled okra on the side.....

Keisha Pegues
Mound Bayou, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Peace Be With You

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claybair on sun 11 jan 04


Very clever topic title Vince!!!
Now everyone listen to Vince.... he is right.
I learned early to eat where the locals eat.
The only difficulty I have had was in San Francisco
in 1969. These restaurants were so local no one spoke English!
When we moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado we made the mistake
an ate at a few chains several times.
We experienced undercooked KFC chicken, dead mouse
under the bench seat in a seafood (forever know now as Dead Lobster),
Diarrhea from a taco chain and a Twilight Zone experience at a pancake
I always ask or seek out where the locals go.

Now I would not recommend the same for motels. I do think it's safer at a
chain motel.
No more Bates Motels for me. We have had several strange experiences at odd
ball motels..... At mid-west motel as we were pulling our luggage out of
the back we noticed a truck with a cab on it next to us. Inside the cab were
2 sheep...... that lead to all kinds of speculation!!!
Another scary motel in Montana we got the last available room.... it had a
bar... smelled awful.... had disgusting pleather chairs..... ackkk can only
imagine what history that room had..... if it had not been so cold I would
have slept in the car!!!!
At another one in a bad section of town ...I was sure the car would be
I highly recommend calling ahead and making reservations.
Hilarious now but was scary then!!!

Vince you need to write another book..... "On the Road Show Food"!

Gayle Bair - for lunch I'm making a mad cow brain burger
garnished with scrapple, chittlins, day old sashimi, lutefisk,
and gefilte fish on a bagel. I'll run through my North Star slab roller
and deep fry it. A few side dishes of hominy,
haggis, blood pudding & fries in leaded newsprint
A tall glass of wheat grass should top it all off!
I'll contact you as soon as I get back from the hospital.
Bainbridge Island, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Vince Pitelka

Isn't it clever how I titled this post so that it isn't off-topic? I am
sure that many of you have had this experience, but I wanted to mention
what I have been doing recently to avoid mediocre food while traveling. At
all times I try to avoid the Applebees, O'Charleys, Chilis, Red Lobster, and
all the rest of the chains that try to foist standardized, semi-palatable
food on the American public. Too many people eat at these places because
they feel that a national chain is "safe," supposedly guaranteeing food that
is "pretty good" versus the uncertainty of an unknown local place. Huh? A
national chain is safer than a place accepted and supported by the local
population? Where does that logic come from?